History and Goals of Black History Month at HSU By: Jonathan Lumpkin
With the arrival of Black History Month in the midst of racial tension and injustice in America, it seems appropriate to reflect on its history at Hardin-Simmons University.
This is significant as a means of raising awareness and celebrating the rich, unique history of our brothers and sisters in Christ within the community around us, both on and off campus.
“Hardin-Simmons has created chapels surrounding black history. We have done more in the last three years since the creation of Proven, HSU’s black student union,” said Izaiha Bush, a sophomore nursing major from Arlington. Bush is also the social media chair for Proven.
Proven has celebrated and raised awareness of black history at Hardin-Simmons in the past through hosting various events, informing people about what black history consists of and having a presence on campus in many different ways. The organization has its roots and mission in the history of HSU founder and abolitionist, the Rev. James B. Simmons, D.D. of New York.
“[We] have an excellent connection to black history as a university that is underutilized,” Bush said.
Proven wants the Hardin-Simmons family to know that their club does value the role that James B. Simmons played in black history, but the notable history related to this month goes beyond just one school founder and some big names that most people learn about in history class.
“[Our] biggest goal for this Black History Month is to show that black history is not just the suffering and injustice of black people, but that we are a lot more and that we are still making history,” Bush said. “We will remember our history and that our history is more than Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks. Our history goes further than what we are taught in grade school.”
In an effort to promote unity and celebration of black history, Proven is sponsoring several events throughout this month, even partnering with Student Life and Sangre for some of them. The movie “Hidden Figures” will be shown in Johnson 103 on Feb. 8 at 7 p.m., and other events such as Hair Love: The History of Hair and A Night of Their Own will take place later in February. You can follow Proven’s Instagram account @hsuproven for more information about the organization and its events.